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Old 04-15-2009, 09:44 AM   #1
The Griz OP
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My F800GS concerns addressed.

Just had my bike at the dealer for my BMW Field Service Engineer appointment to address a few concerns of mine. Here were my concerns and the BMW FSE's responses:

1) Clunk/clack sound from front end?

FSE: Rode my bike for 50 miles. Heard only one sound from the front end. Said the sound was normal. The floating brake rotors.

2) Onboard computer fuel calculation error?

FSE: Looked at PUMA Measure. Tested sensor and did manual fuel calculations. His manual calculations matched the OBC. No problem.

3) Riding in rain - water getting in airbox?

FSE: He's heard of a few cases of this. But only in torrential downpours. And even in those cases, there was only a little bit of water in the airbox. Not enough to stall the bike. He said it would take a much larger volume of water in the engine (not just in the airbox) to stall the engine, as in a river crossing gone too deep. He said if your bike is stalling, it's from something other than rain. Like an electrical issue that the rain is exagerating or something. He also said you shouldn't be riding your bike in torrential downpours in the first place for safety reasons! I agreed with him.

4) Recalls for my VIN?

FSE: Only one. Upper coolant hose. Done.

5) Latest software/firmware for bike?

FSE: The computer on these bikes can only take so many firmware flashes before the computer itself has to be replaced. So he only recommended doing a firmware update if it's to fix a problem. Then I told him there is a problem: snatchy throttle. He said that after riding my bike for 50 miles, the throttle response felt completely normal.

Now I know the peanut gallery will chime in here and contradict everything the FSE said in response to my concerns. Bear in mind, however, that this BMW Field Service Engineer has ridden hundreds of F800GS's, and worked on hundreds of F800GS's. He knows this bike inside and out. It's his job. This guys got more experience and knowhow with this bike than any 20 or 30 of us put together. He is one of five BMW FSE's that cover the entire United States. So he travels all around the Midwest dealing specifiaclly with this bike. Let's try to trust that a bit. Thanks in advance.
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The Griz screwed with this post 04-15-2009 at 11:53 AM
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:43 AM   #2
Ballbearing
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Griz
1) Clunk/clack sound from front end?

FSE: Rode my bike for 50 miles. Heard only one sound from the front end. Said the sound was normal. The floating brake rotors.
I have no first hand knowledge on the other items, but, I have heard the same clunk from my front end and traced it back the rotors.
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Griz
Now I know the peanut gallery will chime in here and contradict everything the FSE said in response to my concerns.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Griz

Let's try to trust that a bit.


Why? Just because they haven't acknowledged a problem doesn't mean a problem does not exist.

IMHO, the stalling in the rain excuse is BS. I don't care if it comes straight from the head of Motorrad himself, I don't buy it. I wasn't riding in a "torrential" downpour when my bike stalled, and it certainly wasn't anywhere near unsafe conditions. Multiple 800GS have had this problem where few--if any?--other makes or models have. ...Including a litany of race-reps with purpose-designed ram air systems that are far more efficient at cramming ‘stuff’ into the airbox than the decorative ducts on our 800s.

Of course, for the most part, all of us idiots on ADV agree with what the Field Engineer had to say. The fuel thing? You either have a problem or you don't. You would have known than before even going in for service. Snatchy throttle? IMHO it was pretty clear from day 1 that it was just a characteristic of the bike.
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Old 04-15-2009, 11:40 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by bxr140


Why? Just because they haven't acknowledged a problem doesn't mean a problem does not exist.

IMHO, the stalling in the rain excuse is BS.
I knew you would.... and I'm not going there. I trust the FSE. Not you. The only reason I posted this is for other owners of the bike to see. Take it or leave it.
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Old 04-15-2009, 01:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Griz
He also said you shouldn't be riding your bike in torrential downpours in the first place for safety reasons! I agreed with him.
If he really said that, then that's got to be the most fatuous piece of advice I've heard in a long time. What, I wonder, would this FSE have me do if I find myself in a sudden, torrential downpour out on Highway 50 in Nevada some afternoon? It's happened a number of times to me in the late summer monsoon season out here. I can't exactly duck into a Starbucks, and pulling over and sheltering under the nearest creosote bush isn't going to do much good either. Riding a motorcycle means riding in the rain from time to time, and yes, sometimes in torrential downpours. It's not unsafe if you slow to a reasonable speed, and it's certainly not anything that should cause an engine to stall. If that's his only suggested option, then I question how much weight we should give the rest of his spiel.

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Old 04-15-2009, 01:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Griz
I knew you would....

I trust the FSE. Not you.
I'm sorry you're satisfied with being duped. No reason to take it out on me though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Griz
The only reason I posted this is for other owners of the bike to see.
Ehhh...that's not the only reason, but you know that already.

Regardless, I'm glad you posted your experience, because it [once again] illustrates the disconnect between a manufacturer and the enthusiasts. Don't get me wrong, I completely understand why they don't want to amit there's a problem, and honestly, I don't even fault them for the tight lip. The problem really only affects a small percentage of the 800GS population, and it would require considerable resources and finances to design and implement a solution. So it really makese sense for them to say "its supposed to be like that". But for someone in the real world to actually believe there's not an inherent problem?

Thats like saying if my car loses power at 90mph, I should accept the answer that "well, you shouldn't be driving that fast anyway".
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Old 04-15-2009, 01:39 PM   #7
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I know the clunk thread drove several people to distraction, but I will risk re-opening it here: There is no way the knocking/clunking sound I hear from my front forks is coming from my brake rotors. I have owned several race bikes with floating rotors that did make serious, loud noises in the pits when being wheeled around, so I know what loose floating rotors can sound like. I was never aware of it in a riding situation though. Further, if the brake rotors are making the noise, it's because they are free to move and knock about. The rotors on my bike can not be moved much at all by hand. Try this little test:

Coast down a bumpy dirt road, controlling your speed with smooth, steady front brake application. If you still hear the noise, it can not be your brakes. I am pretty sure you will still hear the noise, because that scenario perfectly describes the last 1/4 mile to my house and my forks rattle all the way down the hill, every day.

Having said all this, let me also say that I don't think "THE CLUNK" is a terminal problem. I think it's an unfortunate byproduct of normal fork action with these forks.
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Old 04-15-2009, 02:12 PM   #8
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Thanks for posting Griz.
Glad you got to the bottom of things on your bike and are pleased.

But, I also have to say that the comment by the FSE about not riding in heavy rain for safety reasons is offensive to say the least. It's easy for fair weather poser riders to say that, but that's not the real world. Should I stop in the middle of nowhere because BMW said it safer than to ride in heavy rain? stopping instead of riding to find cover from real threats like lighting or tornado's... maybe that guy who's job it is to know this bike inside and out should take it on real adventure ride to gain some REAL WORLD EXPERIENCE....
I have personally watched my bike die from riding in rain more than once, and for BMW to tell me not to ride it in heavy rain is ridiculous.
Sitting on the side of the road in a cold, severe storm trying to get your bike going and winding the engine out to clear it out isn't cool.

My 12R has a ram air intake and doesn't die in any rain, and the 8GS's is marketed as an ADVENTURE bike... at the very least it should be able to ride in the rain without stalling.

The other "issues" you had I thought were just part of the personality of this bike, the stalling thing is a design flaw.

I would imagine as more 8GS's are sold and the more apparent this problems is the sooner BMW will have to do something about it...
Once you have had your bike die from rain, be sure to complain to BMW NA in writing....
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Old 04-15-2009, 03:17 PM   #9
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I've gone thousands of miles on my 12GS in very heavy rain. Never a problem. If the 800 can't do the same...it's not worth having. The guy who told you that is a moron. You seem to buy into anything you hear from BMW...not a good idea. I've owned 14 new BMW's since 2001 and none had this problem and it proves I'm not anti BMW. By the way, congrats on replacing your panniers with touratech bags/at least that's what the stickers seem to imply.
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Old 04-15-2009, 03:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marty hill
If the 800 can't do the same...it's not worth having.
I don't know that I'd go that far, but I would like to figure out a solution that's a *little* less rudimentary (and unsightly) than blocking off the ducts. I've got some ideas...but I don't have quite the boredom level yet.

That and its not going to rain until October.
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Old 04-15-2009, 03:46 PM   #11
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I'm going to hold off on buying an F800 till this rain issue is resolved. If indeed the bike stalls because of the rain, then I would say this is a major issue that may be solved with a minor redesign of the air ducts.
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Old 04-15-2009, 03:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Griz
3) Riding in rain - water getting in airbox?

FSE: He's heard of a few cases of this. But only in torrential downpours. And even in those cases, there was only a little bit of water in the airbox. Not enough to stall the bike. He said it would take a much larger volume of water in the engine (not just in the airbox) to stall the engine, as in a river crossing gone too deep. He said if your bike is stalling, it's from something other than rain. Like an electrical issue that the rain is exagerating or something. He also said you shouldn't be riding your bike in torrential downpours in the first place for safety reasons! I agreed with him.
That is about as dumb and stupid as what the dealer in Vancouver, John (Asshole) Valk, told us when my wife's F650CS was having cold start probems (would not start once temp was below 40f). He suggested we keep the bike in a garage!! We were renting at the time and had no access to a garage. The local dealer, Island BMW, diagnosed a crappy battery and the bike was fine after that.
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Old 04-15-2009, 04:04 PM   #13
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In Oregon, where it rains all the f**cking time, I have not been affected with this stalling issue (yet). And our cousins across the pond, where they spend much of their time riding in the rain, haven't been complaining en masse either. So I think it's safe to assume that it doesn't affect ALL F800GSs, or even the majority. But like the fuel sensor issue, it certainly affects some. Whether those things should keep you from considering the bike is up to you. But it looks like BMW's gotten a handle on the fuel sensor problem (Inshallah), and I bet they'll come up with some fix for those of you with the rain/stalling problem too.

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Old 04-15-2009, 05:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodWorks
I bet they'll come up with some fix for those of you with the rain/stalling problem too.


I'm not so sure. As you note, it hasn't affected many people so there's not enough data out there to definitively claim The Smoking Gun. That's one of the reasons BMW is so tight lipped. Not good to amit a problem without having a solution. You think the front axle or coolant hose issues left the walls of Motorrad before they had a solution ready for immediate implementation? Hell no.

Also, as I note, the water-stalling could very well require a fairly major redesign. If it ends up that only small percentage of riders actually experience the issue, and it doesn't affect safety or reliability, why waste the resources at BMW? Quietly engineer a solution into the next generation of 800s and call it done.
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Old 04-15-2009, 06:09 PM   #15
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I ride in the rain too. Even in heavier rain. And the engine on my F800GS has never stalled on me, even at highway speeds. However, riding in a serious torrential downpour is not the safest thing to do in my opinion. Even in a car. I think you guys are underestimating what I and the FSE meant when we say torrential. When the FSE said torrrential, he meant torrential. Not just a shower or even a heavier shower. Way to overreact and take it the wrong way guys! To each his own of course.

I do agree with this part of the FSE's statement though: "He's heard of a few cases of this. But only in torrential downpours. And even in those cases, there was only a little bit of water in the airbox. Not enough to stall the bike. He said it would take a much larger volume of water in the engine (not just in the airbox) to stall the engine, as in a river crossing gone too deep. He said if your bike is stalling, it's from something other than rain. Like an electrical issue that the rain is exagerating or something."

All in all. This is kind of case closed for me. The bike's been great in its first 600 miles and counting.
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The Griz screwed with this post 04-15-2009 at 06:15 PM
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